Today is Valentine’s Day. This is a day where the focus is on romantic love. The focus is really great for those that have someone in their lives that they are romantically in love with but today I was mindful that not everyone is in that situation. Part of me thinks that the continuation of the Valentine’s Day celebration is probably encouraged most by Hallmark Cards, florists, and chocolate manufactures. But that is probably the cynical side of me. I do think that there can be a great benefit to Valentine’s Day if we look beyond the romantic nature of the celebration.
To begin with, I think it is an excellent idea to set aside a day every year to focus on love. In a world where there is so much fear, acts of violence, and hatred, to lift up love is a valuable endeavor. Again, I am thinking beyond the boundaries of romantic love and looking more at the concept of love toward neighbor. This should be a day when we take notice of who our neighbors are around us. We should identify ways which we can reach out to one another and to do acts of kindness toward one another.
In addition to love of neighbor, this is a good day to think about love of ourselves. We should take time to identify those things in our lives that prevent us from loving ourselves. Then we need to work at eliminate those elements in our lives. We should take note of ways that we can treat ourselves better and take care of our bodies, mind and spirit as acts of love toward ourselves.
As a believer, to have Valentine’s Day be the day right after Ash Wednesday is very meaningful. Yesterday, I and other Christians in my community and throughout the world paused to remember those behaviors, actions, and thoughts which cause a barrier between myself and my Lord. But in the midst of that remembering, believers recall that the love from the Lord is so great that a way has been provided to break down the barriers. Through Jesus‘ death on a cross, the barrier that exists because of my wrongful actions has been shattered. Jesus’ willingness to express love by the giving of his life is for me, a believer, the greatest action of love I could ever know.
So I am glad it is Valentine’s Day because it is a day that is all about love. A day that prompts me to consider various aspects of love. A day to recommit myself to be an agent of love in my life and in the lives of those around me.
- Expand your View of Love this Valentine’s Day (psychologytoday.com)
- Ash Wednesday, Valentine’s Day, and the Symbols of Love (mikehickerson.com)